I would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this very important hearing and I would like to thank all of our witnesses for testifying today.
We have been struggling with this issue for a number of years. My own experience with FDIC reform started when I was a member of the House Banking Committee during the S&L bailout. That was not a fun time for anyone involved and I know most of you were involved in one way or another.
Because of that wonderful experience, I enter into any discussion of deposit reform with a certain amount of trepidation. Obviously, none of us want to live through that mess again.
However, that does not mean that the current system cannot and should not be improved. There are a lot of good things in both the Senate bill offered by my colleague, Tim Johnson and the House bill. A lot of which I agree with. The FDIC should have flexibility. We should merge the funds. We should eliminate the cliff. All of these are ideas that should have become law a long time ago and I am glad they are before this committee now.
But I am a little nervous about one thing, how much is this going to cost the small to mid-sized banks in my state. My bankers want a lot of the things in these bills. They like the items I previously mentioned, and they like increased coverage, in the abstract. They are, however, very much afraid of how much this is going to cost their banks.
I think, when you add up all of these proposals, that is a very legitimate fear.
It is also my biggest fear. I do not want us to forget when we are trying to do all of these wonderful things, how much it is going to affect our small banks, who are so important to our economy. I don't want to force them to buy steak when what they really want is a hamburger.
I can only speak for the bankers in my state, but they are telling me that although they like steak, they want a hamburger.
They are afraid these proposals are getting a little too expensive.
I look forward to hearing from all of you about the cost issue, especially on how it affects smaller banks. I also look forward to hearing your other testimony as well.
I thank all of you for testifying today, I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.